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to kick in at the same time. they just left. and as they were set to leave, john boehner stood before them and asked for help from god. then today john boehner invoked the all mighty again, telling reporters "god only knows what will happen next with his congressional republicans." god only knows. that was his direct quote. >> how we get there, god only knows. >> even as the republican party increasingly supports displays of religiosity of their officials, it is very rare for their senior leaders in the history of a public negotiation that they have no plan and no understanding what to do next other than to ask the lord get involved to sort it out. we are in a rare moment for the republican party. but you know, just in terms of the serenity prayer, the part that is turning out important about it, the wisdom to know the difference part. because what is happening in washington right now is not a standoff. it's not a fight between the two parties. it is a breakdown inside one of the two parties wherein their own elected leadership not only isn't in charge of their own side, their own elected
, or one well-known version of it, at least, and that prayer is what republican house speaker john boehner reportedly recited to the republicans in congress last night after they defied him and rejected their own party's plan and decided to leave washington rather than participate in making policy to stop the bush tax rates from expiring at the end of the year and the giant spending cuts that have been slated to kick in at the same time. they just left. and as they were set to leave, john boehner stood before them and asked for help from god. then today john boehner invoked the all mighty again, telling reporters "god only knows what will happen next with his congressional republicans." god only knows. that was his direct quote. >> how we get there, god only knows. >> even as the republican party increasingly supports displays of religiosity of their officials, it is very rare for someone very senior in the midst of a high stakes negotiation to say they have no plan and no understanding what to do next other than to ask the lord to get involved and sort it out. we are in a rare moment for
it on house speaker john boehner. >> the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker. john boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> boehner's office's response? we've done our part. it's the senate democrats fall. but will the speaker call his members back before time runs out? >> at the last moment is the way these things normally happen. i think that can happen again. it just depends on putting egos aside a little bit and putting the best interests of the american people first. >> plus, keeping our kids safe, is arming educators the symptom or adding to the problem. >>> and can anyone beat sko brown? >>> good day. we're live in washington this afternoon. the lines of communication between the president, leaders of congress are open. whether those lines are used repeatedly over the next few days to reach a fiscal cliff deal is anybody's guess. joining me now for our daily fix, nbc's kelly
that john boehner is having a hard time to get them to agree to his packages like plan b out here. we don't know how much out here in the public things have changed since last week, but it seemed like president obama was saying something that he was planning to say if it came down to the last few days. >> joy, is this the same kind of negotiation we saw in the first term? >> well, richard, one of the things that you didn't see the president do is to offer a new plan and he is laying the debacle at the feet squarely on congress and for the all to see where the dysfunction lies and the president helped himself by making offers that even his base was uncomfortable with, because it is fair to everyone that he is reasonable and trying to make the offers and that the intransigence is on the other side and he is expressing proper proper properlyly the frustration of the american people. >> and now it moves to mitch mcconnell from harry reid. and we have sound from mitch mcconnell on the house floor and harry reid. >> we had a good discussion with the majority leader with the hopes to come forwar
, republican house speaker john boehner put out this stirring call to action. >> mr. president, this is your moment. we're ready to be led. not as democrats or republicans but as americans. we want you to lead. not as a liberal or conservative but as president of the united states of america. >> mr. president, we are ready to be led. just show us the plan. that was encouraging. that seemed like we were going to have a deal, no problem. obama won the election. he'll hand them a plan. he'll make some small changes. that's how congress works, of course. pass it and we'll be done. we'll go home for christmas. not so much. president obama did hand them a plan as treasury secretary tim geithner made a special trip all the way to john boehner's office on capitol hill. he delivered the plan to speaker boehner, a plan pretty much identical to the one president obama just won the election on. you might have thought that would have been leading, the problem would have been solved. not so much. >> flabbergasted. i looked at him, you can't be serious. i've just never seen anything like it. >> so when you
a deal going. it seemed earlier this week, richard, as though president obama and john boehner were getting close to some sort of a deal, a deal that would have dealt with deficit reduction as well as tax reform, but that all fell apart and now there's a big question mark about how they move forward and the president himself acknowledging when he addressed the nation on friday that given the tight timeframe, hopes for a larger deal have all, but faded and he's calling on congress to work together to just get a deal that would have at the very least extend lower tax rates for those making $250,000 or less and also to extend unemployment insurance and to help lay the groundwork for deficit reduction in the future. right now the expectations have been lowered a great deal in terms of what is actually possible and you heard the president say that he is still optimistic that something can get done before the january 1st deadline and of course, there's a lot of pressure for these lawmakers to get something done because if they don't the economy could go back into a recession eventa you wi
farther right running against them in primary, that john boehner's plan last week. we don't know how much has changed since last week. but president obama sounded like he was saying something that he had been planning to say all along. >> it's almost like the white house is stepping out. i think we have some sound from mitch mcconnell talking about the next steps. let's see if we can run that out. >> we had a good meeting at the white house. we are engaged in discussions, if majority leader, myself and the white house in the hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommendation. that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference. >> i'm going to do everything that i can, i'm confident senator mcconnell will do the same. but everybody, this is -- whatever we come up with, this is going to be imperfect. and some people aren't going to like it. some people will like it less. but that's where we are. and i feel confident that we have an obligation to do the best we can and that was made very clear in the white house. we're going to do the
's horribly off track now when john boehner decided to go to plan b. i think the president's lever raj, if anything, is enhanced by this. the problem is that i don't know why republicans would nibble at this idea of essentially passing the senate bill. that's what he was describing today. sometime before the end of the year. then they can have a massive tax cut for the broad, middle class and call it a day. >> the prospect of a grand bargain is absolutely gone for the near turn. there's no way they can craft that in the few days that they have between now and the end of the year. that doesn't mean that next year, they won't be able to sit down and have conversations about tax reform and entitlement reform. but not with these republicans. i don't know why kumbaya is supposed to break out in january. if the republican caucus continues to basically have gridlock and dysfunction as their ultimate goal, there won't be any reforms. >> what becomes of sequestration if the only thing that can be agreed upon is those who will receive a continued tax break. >> there's a possibility in a small de
initially had before the $400,000 offer that john boehner the white house would contend walked away from when he proposed his $1 million threshold in this situation right now. that and a priority that the president outlined a week ago on friday before leaving to join the family in hawaii saying he wanted to extend unemployment benefits for a lot of americans. 2 million plus beginning to lose unemployment benefits, beginning of the end of the this week and significant element, as well. the president indicated to reporters when he spoke in the reefing room last he was open to several smaller steps enroute to a smaller package and unclear what the steps look like but that's surely discussed in the conversation. >> vick, let's talk about the backdrop here. the congress least productive, on the pace to be the least productive congress in history. on pace to pass around 219 bills. 111th passed 383. the 110th passed 380. the harry truman congress called the do nothing congress passed 906. so they're extraordinarily productive compared to what we have now. >> reporter: yeah. >> talking about why
in primary, that john boehner's plan last week. we don't know how much has changed since last week. but president obama sounded like he was saying something that he had been planning to say a all along. >> take a listen to the president's tone and tell me if you think somebody has changed. >> ordinary folks. they do their jobs. they meet deadlines. they sit down and they discuss things and then things happen. if there are disagreements, they sort through the disagreements. the notion that our elected leadership can't do the same thing is mind boggling to them. >> joy, is this is same kind of negotiator we saw in the first term? >> i'll tell you, richard. one of the things you notice that the president didn't do was offer any new plan. i think he's laying this debacle squarely at the feet of congress. and the president, i think, helped himself by previously making some offers that even his base was uncomfortable with. it's clear to everyone watching that he's been reasonable to try to make offers. i think he's expressing plopperly the frustration of the american people. >> it's almo
. john boehner couldn't pass with house republicans the idea of raising taxes only on those making more than a million dollars. the president has insisted throughout that $250,000 had been his limit. it's bumped up to $400,000. but even when they were within just a couple hundred billion dollars, which seems like a lot to you and me but it is not a lot in the language of washington, then they went opposite directions an enwhere the political particular sis stands at this moment. >> all right. peter and alexander, thank you good sir. joining me now karen bass of california. congresswoman, good to see you and nice to see you there from the capitol. you are still in california because house members, again, haven't been called back and given the 48-hour notice to my knowledge. have you? >> exactly. i have flights scheduled every day waiting for that notice to come. i think it is a shame. i think the house should be back in business in d.c. right now. the senate's in session. there's no reason for us to be at home. >> i want play another one of senator reid's comments leveled at speaker boeh
john boehner seem so close to getting a deal done. they were really close on taxes and entitlement reform. we saw that last week house speaker john boehner couldn't get his plan b through the house. aides tell me right now president obama does not feel as though he has to compromise much more. he believes he has the leverage because he won reelection. >> on taxes i know it is hard for the republicans but the president ran on that platform. 250. no taxes for people below but taxes above. he won. 60% of the voters said they were for it in the exit polls including some republicans. >> reporter: there is also a lot of skepticism among lawmakers. senator joe lieberman said he thinks the country is closer than ever to going over the cliff. the last time interestingly that lawmakers worked between the christmas holiday and new year's was in 1996. that is, of course, when they were dealing with the government shut down. politics will be put aside this morning. the president, a lot of members of congress will be attending that memorial service for the late senator. >> kristen welker in hawa
're calling it the fiscal cliff. [ speaking foreign language ] >> john boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> let's take the american people out of the line of fire in terms of taxes. >> it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker. >> i have never known john boehner not to have a plan. >> it seems pretty dark right now. >> it looks like there's no way there's going to be any deal done. >> so i say to the speaker, take the escape hatch we've left you. >> we're not going to get anything done that doesn't involve some measure of compromise. >> it's not 100% sure that's going to work any longer, and now that we know how fanatical the fanatics are. >> it's like blah, blah, blah. >>> a very busy day here in washington and we want to take you right to the senate floor where senator mitch mcconnell is actually speaking about the fiscal cliff. let's take a listen. >> we'll see what the president has to propose. members on both sides of the aisle will review it, and then we'll decide how best to proceed. hope
operated with a dictator ship of the speaker. john boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than keeping the nation on footing. >> john boehner's office fired back -- senator reid should talk less and legislate more. the house has already passed legislation to avoid the entire fiscal cliff. >>> the president gets set to land in washington this hour. there's new word that the president has called all four congressional leaders. reid, mcconnell, boehner and pelosi. . joining me to talk more, we have peter alexander standing by at the white house as well as nbc's mike viqueira on capitol hill. some verbal smackdown, basically flipping the lights back on and harry reid taking to the floor to eviscerate speaker boehner. >> the sad part is you often seen the floor opened that way. mitch mcconnell being later today. i'm sure we'll hear something later. to hear it two days after christmas and a matter of days before we go through the fiscal cliff, obviously not encouraging. harry reid says time is running hout. he doesn't know if they could go through the legislative hur
at the white house today to try to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff. in the meantime, harry reid refers to john boehner's leadership as a dictatorship. not helpful. >>> but first, to your top stories this morning -- retired general norman schwarzkopf died thursday at his home in tampa, florida, he's credited with devising the plan that drove saddam hussein's forces out of kuwait in 1991. known as stormin' norman for his strong personality. >>> the general said that he did agree with president george h.w. bush's decision not to follow saddam's decision into baghdad. >> ladies and gentlemen, when we here, we were 150 miles away from baghdad and there's nobody between us and bagsd. if our intention to take iraq, to destroy the country, if it had been our intention to overrun the country, we could have done it unopposed from this position at that time. >> schwarzkopf was honored for his service with the medal of freedom. queen elizabeth even awarded him with a knight hood. >>> former president george h.w. bush praised his leadership yesterday. general schwarzkopf is survived by his wife and three k
and close to john boehner, i don't think he has the stoitsy to follow him to avert this cliff. look, the last minute, as tom cole said, the deals come together at the last minute. the last minute was really before christmas. as a practical matter, that is how these deals come together each of the last three years of the obama administration, on the budget, on deficit, on tax cuts years ago. they came together before christmas. it's hard to see how this works out at this point, to tell you the truth. there is a conference call at 2:30 among house republicans trying to decide what to do. we expect the leadership to let the rank and file know what their plans are. the speaker is not in washington. we understand he is in ohio of his home state. the president has landed here back at the white house in washington. it's unclear exactly where they go from here. essentially what john boehner is saying, you go first, harry reid. harry reid is trying to jam mitch mcconnell into allowing this vote to go forward without the 60-vote threshold, something that's necessary for virtually every vote h
-minute deal and this plan would not be the grand bargain that john boehner started initially working on. that plan would have dealt with tax reform and deficit reduction and this will be a much more scaled back version that will deal with the issue of taxes and that is still the big sticking point, taxes. of course, democrats and president obama have called for tax rates to increase on those making $250,000 or less. republicans have said that's way too low. so they're thinking about potentially compromising on a rate that would be $400,000 or $500,000, but some republicans are saying they don't think that the tax rate should go up on anyone. so taxes still the major sticking point. right now the negotiations are going on the hill and there's a lot of optimism that came from the talks yesterday. of course, president obama hosted congressional leaders at the white house and they left that meeting and many said that it was constructive and they were optimistic that a deal could get done and i've been talking to my sources today and that same optimism isn't really present right now. there's
through the senate and doesn't make john boehner look too bad in the house and there are a lot of conservatives in the house that don't want to do any type of deal that would raise taxes on anybody even though they'll go up on the entire country the first tax hike in 20 years after monday night. >> and one would also assume that mitch mcconnell would have to back a grant, he could face a primary fight if this thing -- >> you touched on one of the great sub plots of these entire negotiations is personal things that boehner and mcconnell have in these negotiations. obviously, mcconnell doesn't want to have someone on the right come after him because he was in favor of a tax hike and john boehner's re-election as speaker of the house. and that would come across as a vote of no confidence. very embarrassing and they don't expect it happening and there's a lot at stake for mitch mcconnell and john boehner personally. great point you brought up. >> if the senate fails to come up with something, does the president have the votes? >> reporter: if harry reid got this through the senate,
. how is john boehner going to get the votes for that when he couldn't get the votes for plan b to raise taxes on only those making $1 million a year. it seems unlikely that the current course we are in will be the solution. we have gone nowhere here. peter is right. once we go over the cliff, the likelihood of the grand bargain that touches on spending in a tax code, the charitable deductions and mortgage interest deductio deductions, that is less likely and guess what. we have a fight in two months when the debt ceiling and the government runs out of money. >> that's where i feel all the eyes are on capitol hill. saying you can't do this with the fiscal cliff. what a two months that will be. thanks so much for joining us. we appreciate it. joining me here in the studio with our first reads of the day, senior political editor mark murray. welcome. back and forth from the harry reid. we have congressional ping pong going on. you said it is time for house republicans to put middle class families first bypassing the senate's bill to protect 98% of americans on january 1st. the senate bill
john boehner and there was a logic behind that. because getting legislation out of the house is the trickier part of crafting any type of deal. but with the house saying look, we need the senate to do something, the last ditch effort is occurring in the senate right now. i spoke to staffers close to senator mcconnell that said there was optimism on their side yesterday, including from their boss, senator minority leader mitch mcconnell to get a deal. of course, any kind of word in reading from the members themselves will not come until tomorrow, but it's both chris and luke that said in the segment before mine, there is a sense that what might have been optimism yesterday does not exist today. of course, that is what always goes on when you have negotiations. we will see what happens tomorrow. tomorrow will be a very big day. >> the optimism seems to be waning. what does john boehner do if mitch mcconnell and harry reed come to an agreement? >> that is the question if something is done on the senate side, craig, there's been the talk about house republicans as in any majority
reform and deficit reduction. that fell apart. house speaker john boehner tried to get his own bill through the house. he realized he didn't have enough votes for that. that fell apart as well. the ball is in the senate's court. according to an aide, senate majority leader harry read will not bring a bill to the floor unless he believes he will not have the support to get it passed or at least not to block it. that is the strategy right now. president obama will be working with what ma jority leader reid trying to get something through. the president wanted a big deal given the time constraints and only six days left, he conceded to a big deal is probably not possible. the goal now is just to get a gap measure to prevent the steep tax hikes from kicking into effect and the deep spending cuts. right now that is the large goal. i can tell you that competence in lawmakers is dwindling according to the latest poll. 50% of americans believe that lawmakers will be able to prevent going-over the fiscal cliff. that is a drop from seven points from december 16th. consumer confidence in the l
for watching. it's home for the holidays with no deal. house speaker john boehner only has himself to blame. boehner's plan b gimmick failed big time last night at this point a fiscal cliff deal with boehner's members would probably require divine intervention. >> how we get there, god only knows. but all i've done is -- eric and i and our team here are committed to working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, both sides of the capitol and the white house to address it. >> after a day with dealing with humiliation, boehner hit the gavel and sent his members home for the holidays. there will be no deal this weekend. then boehner took the walk of shame out of the capitol. it's unclear whether he will be the speaker in the new year. it was the same sad walk many house members took last night when they couldn't get their own folks to vote on boehner's plan b. republican leaders can't strike a deal with their own members. how will they strike one with the president of the united states? boehner was scrambling for excuses today. >> you know, one of my colleagues the other night had an
with the brookings institution and an msnbc contributor. e.j., great to see you, as always. john boehner sits to the left of center of his caucus. can he work out a deal without inciting a full-scale revolt? >> well, we don't know that, but i think he'll have to test it. that really tells you something about how conservative the republican caucus has done. john boehner is a good conservative. what we have learned from last week is that if you give the 30 to 60, whatever the actual number was, we can't know for issue, but 30 to 60 of the most conservative republicans veto power, you will never get a reasonable solution. president obama made a lot of concessions to john boehner. a lot of liberals didn't like all the concessions he made. he limited the reach of the tax cut, changed the indexing of social security. he put that stuff in there to get republican votes. i think if john boehner -- and it would take courage, said we're going to let the whole housework its will, you can't pass a lot of reasonable bills if you worked from the center out instead of starting from the far right and see what
. welcome to this special edition of "m schsnb"msnbc." as for president obama and john boehner, they are miles apart. neither are them talking about the deal the country really needs. kristin, we were talking yesterday that there's a possibility the president was considering coming back early perhaps thshould they strike a deal of some sort. >> i think it's likely president obama will cut his vacation short. we haven't gotten guidance about when that is going to happen. the white house is calling this a working vacation, but the reality is that talks are largely deadlocked over the fiscal cliff. there have been a few conversations going on at the staff level but really the expectation is that the hard work is going to get done when lawmakers return to washington after the christmas holiday, a little bit later on this week. that's when they're going to resume negotiations in earnest. of course there had been hopes that the president and house speaker john boehner were going to get a deal done. if you looked at the beginning of last week, they were getting close to a deal it appe
're no longer talking about some people getting a tax increase. harry reid and john boehner for instance said -- the speaker saying the senate should take it up. harry reid is speaking on the floor. let's take a listen. >> because americans' taxes are approaching the wrong direction come the first of this year, americans will have less income than they have today. if we go over the cliff, the house of representatives, as we speak, with four days left after today before the first of the year aren't here with the speaker having told them they'll give them 48 hours notice. i can't imagine their consciences where they are around the country and we're here trying to get something done. they are not in washington, d.c. the house of representatives are not here. they couldn't even get the leadership together yesterday. they had to do it with a teleconference. republican leadership. if we go over the cliff, we'll be left with the knowledge that could have been about a single vote. mr. speaker, prior to this session starting today, the presiding officer and i had a conversation about how things have c
, but ultimately john boehner has said he wants the majority of republican members of the house to vote for whatever deal happens. that's a key factor. they have to agree to something that president obama also agrees to. that's a big gap. basically he's -- i don't know that there's 120 house republican votes for that yet. plan b was voted on, a -- house republicans wouldn't approve of that, either. the how is like a big block here on any kind of permanent deal. >>> i want to bring in debbie wasserman schultz, florida democrat and head of the dnc. congresswoman, when you look at what's happening today, you know, this meeting that's going to be happening at 3:00 p.m., what's going to be talked about there, what do you think? >> look, as long as the leaders are talking, there is still time for us to hammer out a deand prevent us from going over the fiscal cliff. what will be talked about today is what do the outlines and parameters of a possible deal look like that can be agreed to by a majority of democrats and republicans. really i think the key thing here is, will john boehner, instead
conference, it came after president obama met with john boehner and nancy pelosi and harry reid and mitch mcconnell, so all the key congressional leaders. and listen to the president here. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable. why everything always has to wait until the last minute. well, we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. i just have to repeat. you know, outside of washington, nobody understands how it is that this seems to be a repeat pattern, over and over again. ordinary folks, they do their jobs. they meet deadlines. they sit down and they discuss things and things happen. if there are disagreements, they sort through the disagreements. the notion that our elected leadership can't do the same thing is mind boggling to them. and needs to stop. >> i just have to repea
. is it helpful to have john boehner have his members back in d.c. running their mouths and offering opinions to all us reporters, i think the answer is no. >> no inclination the $250,000 or below can pass through the senate right now, kay bailey hutchison said she wouldn't support that type of bill. what's harry reid left to do right now? >> i'm not sure $250,000 could get through the house or senate at this point. republicans are signaling, as kay bailey hutchison just did, they want to move to $500,000. i think that would be a tough lift considering president obama offered $400,000 with $2 trillion in deficit reduction. >> from where you sit right now, i mean, you're so into the house gop, jake, i'm surprised you didn't end up in boehner's suitcase, we look like we're going over. >> it looks like that's the case and that's what gop aides are telling us today, it's very difficult and democrats are saying this too, it's difficult to see a way we avert the fiscal cliff at this point with how slow the senate operates, no plan right now, house is nowhere, and it's almost january. >> highway to
john boehner tried to move his own independent plan to raise taxes on income levels over a million dollars and he wasn't able to do that successfully. and i think it was a big sign about the difficulties he'll have even wrangling the majority of his caucus and so i think in order to get something done, anything done, to make sure that taxes don't increase on middle class americans, to make sure that the spending cuts don't start immediately, a lot of lawmakers are leary of them despite they voted for them two summers ago, they hope to set the infrastructure in place. >> well and good. but intimating here, meredith, who's going to be part of the wrangling? who's the wrangler? last time at least from what it looks like, anyone who talked about this deal, that was on friday when that happened. the president then met with harry reid and talked to john boehner by phone and we have heard harry reid is working on legislation, perhaps mitch mcconnell's involved in this, as well. so when we look at this, david, who's pulling the strings now? who will sit down and make the deal happen? >> th
with harry reid and spoke with john boehner. is a grand bargain still possible when everyone is leaving town? >> a week from the shooting massacre that left 20 children and six educators dead, we have heard plenty of people calling for new gun control laws but very little from the national rifle association until now. in a bizarre news conference, the head of the nchl ra said the solution of gun violence in this country is simple, more guns. armed officers in every school. it is the same line we have heard before from the nra. has the country's relationship with guns fundamentally changed since newtown. what we saw last night from house republicans is yet another symptom of a real problem for the gop. they don't believe in compromise. they have lurnlged too far to the right. president obama tapped kerry to be the next secretary of state. let me finish with the great new movie about getting bin laden and how one person can make a huge difference. we begin with where things stand on the fiscal cliff. david corn is the washington bureau chief for mother jones magazine and msnbc contributor, jar
that house speaker john boehner couldn't get his own conference to pass tax cuts for those making less than $1 million, it seems like it's still a tough drag for all those behind closed doors a short time from now. we saw the vice president joe biden arriving here in the white house within the last ten minutes or so. one attendee as it were. the other four top lawmakers from the capitol hill expected a short time from now. >> there doesn't appear to be new information to be revealed at the meeting. they have all heard what the other folks at the table have said time and time again. so, what do we expect to come out of this thing? >> reporter: it's a good question. frankly, i think we are all just going to have to wait outside the doors and find out what happens after the fact, hearing from the lawmakers inside, whether the president comes out and makes any statement of any sort. but the fact of the matter is a lot of the conversations to this point have been cryptic, behind the scenes by senior staff members on the republican and democratic sides right now. so what they come to in terms of
to this point? taking you back to last week, you remember john boehner tried to get that alternative bill through the house. his own bill. he didn't have the support to do it. it fell apart. now things are in the senate and it will be up to harry reid and mitch connell and the president to try to come to a compromise to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts that go into effect on the first of the year. president obama had been working with house speaker john boehner and trying to get a big deal that dealt with tax reform and deficit reduction. that fell apart and talks have largely been stalled this entire time. there was a lost pressure to get something done. we have seen some of the impacts of the fiscal cliff. consumers saying they have been more cautious with their holiday spending because of the uncertainty in washington. economists warn it could get worse and the markets could be foiled if we go over the fiscal cliff. taxes will go up for the average american by about $2,000 and could put us back into a recession. >> which nobody wants to see. kristen welker in hawaii. the president
still in disarray. seemed earlier this week, the president obama, house speaker john boehner, would get a deal that would include deficit reduction and tax reform. that has fallen apart. so there is a big question mark about what happens now. how they move forward. president obama boarded air force one friday evening with his family. as they left for hawaii. but a little earlier in the day, he met with senate majority leader harry reid and spoke with house speaker john bainer and addressed the nation on the topic of avoiding the fiscal cliff. called on lawmakers to compromi compromise, to get a deal done. he acknowledged time has run out for getting a larger package. what they need to focus on now is getting a smaller deal that will avoid taxes from going up on middle class americans. meanwhile, a very rough friday for house speaker john boehner, really spent most of the day, explaining what has been views as a political blow, when on thursday, many republicans refused to back his plan b. that is speaker boehner's alternative plan for avoiding the fiscal cliff and called for allowing ra
, john boehner. let's figure out this guy. what is his story? he's the leader of the party that doesn't want to be led by him or anybody. they don't even -- well, it's not even actually a political party. it's a faction of tea party people telling the most republicans that they're not playing ball with them. >>> also tonight, hating hillary. that was the intriguing idea behind a politico story. when will the right learn to rekindle its hatred for hillary. everybody played the hillary card lately saying how great she was on the right so they could make obama look bad. at some point they will have to confront hillary clinton herself as the chief democrat in the country. when will they pivot? >>> if you're worried we'll soon be governed by sharia law, have no fear. republicans are keeping us safe from something that was never going to happen anyway. that and other low lights there 2012 in the "sideshow." >>> and finally my hopes for the upcoming year, especially from the president. this is "hardball," the place for politics. >>> massachusetts congressman ed markey announced today his can
at this point in time. they are going to be crucial as well as, of course, house speaker john boehner, but really there's going to be a lot of focus right now on the senate because, as you remember, house speaker john boehner tried to get his own bill passed through the house. that didn't happen. he didn't have enough votes, so essentially everything shifts right now to the senate. so harry reid, mitch mcconnell, nancy please elosi on the house to say here are the number of democrats i could get if you offer a compromise package. but this is really a tough situation because there's so little time left and we've already seen the markets impacted by this. so if we do go over the cliff, if you look at the polls, most americans saying republicans will bear the brunt. they will blame republicans, but the bottom line is the president will get a lot of blame as well because this is going to impact a lot of people. >> right. nbc's kristin welker keeping us honest at the white house. we will stand by. thank you. >> reporter: thank you. >>> joining us for analysis are two of my favorite guys, b
. is the onus more on the senate at this point? as you point out what john boehner is not able to even get enough of his own support within his own caucus to get plan b through, do you think that he has the staying power to pull something off, especially within the narrow window before 2013? >> you know, i think that a less ambitious deal does still have a good chance. i don't think the worst thing in the world is to go past the deadline, but i think it's bad. i think we have a responsibility to do everything we can to find a deal for the american people. i have to say if the only way to get a deal done is to make low income seniors pay for it, i think we're going to have a very difficult time getting a deal because at the end of the day the wealthiest americans have enjoyed record low tax rates for a number of years now, and now in order to do some -- make some progress on the budget, we're asking low income seniors to pay for it. that dog won't hunt. at the end of the day the question is going to be will boehner, will the house be able to vote on a deal that can garner enough democrat su
as though president obama, house speaker john boehner were close to getting some sort of a grand bargain that would have addressed tax reform as well as deficit reduction. those talks, of course, fell apart. house speaker john boehner tried to get an alternative plan through the house. that didn't work out. now the focus shifts to the senate. senate majority leader harry reid, minority leader mitch mcconnell will have to try to hammer out some sort of a compromise to avoid going over the cliff, but as you pointed out in your introduction, a lot of senators over the weekend expressed concern that, in fact, we will go over the fiscal cliff. of course, if is that happens, the economy could eventually slip back into recession. one interesting point, thomas, though, last time that members of congress worked between christmas and new year's was 1996. that was during the government shutdown. this is really a rare occurrence for members of congress to have to come back and work out legislation that they went able to get done before the christmas holiday. >> the president is supposed to stay ther
to receive a 48 hour heads up to return. john boehner said he refuses to call him back if there is no deal to vote on. he has given up hope and opting to work with senate democrats to push their bill from this past summer that extends rates on those less than $250,000. he failed to get his party behind a threshold and what are the odds this bill will pass. let's get the latest read on those not going on on capitol hill. luke, what is the latest? >> the latest is that there is aides i spoke to that think there is a 50-50 chance that the senate could get a small scale agreement on the floor the next few days and possibly be passed. that gets more and more unlikely as time goes by. harry reid is gauging interest with republican and democratic senators. he doesn't want to put anything on the floor that would not pass out of the senate. then he is asking republicans to vote for a tax increase for no reason. he wants assurances it would go down to the house floor and be gone for a vote. if that were to happen, you would see it passed out of the house with the democrats and as few as 30 or 40 rep
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